Landlord association supports calls for ban on ads encouraging short term lets in London

They Mayor of London is being asked to pull advertisements calling on landlords to stop providing homes for Londoners and move into tourist lets.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has added its support to calls for Sadiq Khan to remove the adverts by short term lettings company Hostmaker from the Transport for London (TfL) network.

RLA research shows that short term letting has already had a significant impact on the number of homes to rent available to Londoners and has the potential to push up rents.

The figures show listings on the short term lettings site, Airbnb, increased by 60% to 53,000 listings in the capital in the 12 months to 2017 alone and the popularity of these sites shows no sign of abating.

Laws limit the number of days homes in London can be let on a short term basis to 90 nights a year to prevent homes being taken from the long term rental market, with Airbnb making a firm commitment to enforcing these rules.

However, a recent BBC investigation found Hostmaker was one of a number of companies encouraging people to flout these rules.

London Assembly member Tom Copley has now written to the Mayor, who is chair of TfL, asking for the advertisements to be removed, with a petition on the issue attracting more than 600 signatures.

‘While people have the right to do what they want with their properties, the movement of homes from the long term to short term lettings sector is damaging to communities and to the supply of homes to rent for ordinary Londoners,’ said David Smith, RLA policy director.

‘The sentiment of these advertisements contradicts the Mayor’s own policy on short-term lettings, and we call for their swift removal,’ he added.

The RLA has produced two research papers looking at the issue, The Rental Revolution – what the sharing economy is doing to the PRS? and The Bedroom Boom – Airbnb and London.